Responses by Feliciano Robayna, head of sports marketing, On
Background: The purpose of the four-minute short film “Taming Giants” for Swiss sports brand On was to share an amazing trail running story in a new and creative way. Ultra-running can seem a bit “out of this world,” so we wanted to make it relatable by telling an extreme performance story of pro athletes Katie Schide and Germain Grangier in a light and authentic way. At the end of the day, we also want to inspire people to get out there to tackle neat challenges and go on adventures of their own.
Reasoning: The distances that Katie and Germain run are unbelievable, and the fact that they are a couple who loves the mountains and each other seems like something from a storybook. We thought there was no better way to tell their story than through a creative mixed media piece that everyone can enjoy, because who doesn’t like a fairytale?
Challenges: Making sure that the two worlds of fantasy and live action could co-exist together. It was an interesting and new challenge to have and, in the end, we are happy with how the two worlds blended into one. The most challenging aspect for the athletes was no doubt completing what they set out to do as they certainly pushed limits.
Favorite details: How cohesive the whole piece looked in the end. The animation production team started their work before the live action footage was shot, which meant that the animation wasn’t a carbon copy of the live action so a lot of it was imagined before the film shoot took place. It was special how everything ended up working together so nicely. At one point during the film production, the photographer took a picture that looked exactly like the mock-up animation we saw earlier on, and that is when we started to see the two aspects come together.
Time constraints: Trying to time the live action shooting with the animation process was time sensitive because they take very different approaches. The great thing about animation is it can happen within a set schedule. However, with live shoots and adventures, other aspects can impact the process such as weather, especially in this circumstance because it was quite dangerous. We ended up starting filming in a moment’s notice because there was an open weather window and, within less than 24 hours, everyone was packed up and ready for the adventure to begin.
Specific demands: Everyone involved in creating this project was amazing and we were all so passionate and excited about the idea. When everyone is truly invested in an idea, you can come out with such a great result, and that is exactly what happened.